Thursday, June 23, 2016

Australia’s Davis leads Brabazon
 after birdie bonanza

Australia’s Cameron Davis leads the Brabazon Trophy at London Golf Club after a first round of six-under 66 - which started with five birdies in a row. 
“That was a very nice run,” said Davis, 21, who started the English men’s open amateur stroke play championship on the 10th. “My first tee shot wasn’t too great but I made a couple of long putts and holed a bunker shot from the back of the 11th green. That was a little bonus! 
“It was just one of those days. Later I hit a couple of tee shots into the long stuff, but I kept it going,” added Davis, the world number 13 (pictured top). He certainly did that on his 17th hole where he lost his first ball but still managed a par – and then signed off with a birdie on his 18th. 
It gave him a one shot lead over England’s Jamie Bower (Meltham), while Tom Gandy (Rowany), Craig Smith (Fulford) and Ryan Brooks (Whittington Heath) are a stroke further back on four-under.
They were among 31 players who beat par, taking advantage of the ideal scoring conditions after recent heavy rain softened the immaculate Heritage course and encouraged the players to fire at the pins.
“It was very scorable as long as you kept the ball in the fairway, the greens are soft enough to keep it close,” said Davis, who was the 2015 Australian Amateur champion and runner-up in the Asia Pacific championship. 
Bower (pictured left) agreed: “Driving is important on this course. If you can get it out there a decent distance there are some good opportunities and I gave myself plenty of chances.” He grabbed them as they came along and collected seven birdies in his round. 
Bower is an England international who won twice on an early season of South Africa and reached the last 16 of last weekend’s Amateur Championship. “I’m very happy with today’s play, it’s a good solid start and I couldn’t really ask for any more,” he said.
He posted his 67 during a furious flurry of low scoring by the early starters. Jake Burnage (Saunton) and Callum Farr (Priors Hall) were playing in the first groups in the two-tee start, and returned 70 and 69 respectively. 
Farr made his Brabazon debut with a bogey-free round which included a holed pitch shot on the 10th. “I didn’t really do anything wrong and I made a few good up and downs for par,” said the 17-year-old, whose next big date is to play for England in the European boys’ team championship. 
No sooner had they returned their cards than Smith and Brooks came in, having played together, both shooting 68.  “I think we played similar and fed off each other,” said Brooks, 19, who is playing in the Brabazon for the first time. “We hit a lot of greens and didn’t really hit off-line apart from a couple we looked for at the end.” Gandy, from the England Golf A squad, followed them in with another 68, which included just one dropped shot, 
While the top scorers made it look easy, there was plenty of trouble to be found with wayward shots. The fairways are generous, but fringed with deep, whispy rough; there’s plenty of water and the greens, while very true, are fast.  In addition the pollen count was high and hay fever complaints were common. 
England international Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park) – who was among the hay fever sufferers – led the Kent challenge alongside Mark Collins (Chart Hills) after both shot 73. Freddie Price (Royal Blackheath) scored 75 and Dan Brown (Chart Hills) returned 76. 
After tomorrow’s second round the field will be cut to the leading 60 players and ties who will play the final 36 holes. 

Par 72 SSS 75 CSS 75
69 Liam Johnston (T6)
71 Ryan Lumsden, Craig Ross (T15)
72 Scott Gibson (T32)
73 Sandy Scott (T44)
74 Jeff Wright (T63)
75 Kyle Godsman, George Burns (T82)
76 Kieran Cantley (T96)
Retired: Calum Fyfe.    

Click here for full scores 

Images © Leaderboard Photography



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